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'We're all exhausted but we're okay.' Healthcare workers on the frontline of COVID-19

Doctors and nurses are battling the outbreak and they need our help to keep everyone healthy.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way life looks for most of us but for healthcare professionals, it’s only intensified their already hectic workdays.

"We’re all exhausted but we’re okay."

If the coronavirus outbreak is a war, doctors and nurses are the soldiers on the frontline. Savannah Hayes is battling the virus at one of Novant Health’s screening centers ion Winston-Salem.

"So right now I’m getting to the screening center early in the morning usually around seven-ish like most nurses I’m here five or six days a week right now I’m alternating back-and-forth," Hayes said.

This pandemic is unprecedented, something we’ve never dealt with before but Hayes and her co-workers have trained for every possibility. 

"This isn’t it entirely different for what I would normally do this is just a little bit bigger of a storm," she said.

Sure, their days have changed starting with the uniform they’re wearing.

"We have masks, we have gowns, we have shields - everything that we need to protect ourselves from coming into contact with those droplets," she said.

It's also altered the way they interact with patients and each other.

"I really really miss hugging people because the social distancing has kept us from doing that especially in the screening clinic and we are under so much stress right now and we would love to be able to show our appreciation to each other," she said. "And it breaks our hearts because we’re nurses and we love people that’s why we’re here and it’s really hard not to hug people."

But even during the fight Hayes is holding on to the reason she enlisted and she’s counting on you to keep her, her coworkers and everyone else healthy and safe.

"Right now we’re here because we love our patients enough to care for them in uncertain times and times of fear right now. I would love for people to know that social distancing really does help a lot and we know everyone is probably tired of hearing that term. I’m tired of hearing that term. But it really does help when people try not to be in contact with each other and try not to have gatherings have any of that contact with each other it makes our job easier."

Hayes said it’s weird for her to see the general public wearing protective gear like gloves and masks and wants to remind you that if you are wearing gloves and you touch anything else you transfer those germs and can potentially spread the virus. They give you a false sense of security.

She also says if we do what we’re supposed to - stay home, wash our hands and avoid spreading those germs - we will make their fight easier.